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This was our first cruise experience -husband and wife, an active grandma (85) and 2 kids (12/16) . Having reade numerous reviews I was fully aware of the pros and cons & whilst there were a few niggles along the way, I'd still rate cruise excellent . What we loved 1. The ease of embarking/disembarking - (Barcelona ) well organised , quick and efficient . We arrived at 11.30 and before we knew it we were on the ship -less than 15 minutes with bags arriving at cabin around 3-4pm 2. Food and beverage- excellent array of restaurants - we ate in taste for lunch on embarkation day -that was a good tip I had read as buffet on 15th deck can be chaotic ! It was a great start to the holiday we chose the unlimited drinks package as part of our offer (Uk offer allowed 2 "free" added values) - great value and worth getting. In hindsight I would have also chosen( as my 2nd option ) the speciality dinner -instead chose wifi. That was a regret . the Buffet is fine and food great - but now looking back asa family we like the idea of table service more for dinner . We ate at manhatten and taste -couple of times each and they were very good indeed as was noodle bar and Chinese which was all included 3 Variety of entertainment- non stop. Great acts - Burn the Floor/Priscilla /Legends Live /howl of the Moon were all thoroughly entertaining . Very easy to book ( you can even pre book couple ) We never had any issue and thee were always spare seats) be aware people often book and don't show so stand by last minute can work) 4. Great port stops - see separate comments - again easy to get on and off- we didn't do any of the ship excursions -arranged own thing at each port . So easy to do so but I do like arranging such activities so that helps 5. Iconcierge app- very useful indeed-shows all the daily activities updates you on any additional spend on your account -which was brilliant ad really useful. ( we paid extra for the basic wifi which allowed us all to keep in touch with one an-it's $9.99 and allows you to message and call each other via ships wifi when on ship. Very useful ) What we liked 1.Cabins- see full review below we had 2 balcony(2 people in each) and one studio 2 Service overall was pretty good - this is where I had few niggles but overall pretty happy considering the size of ship and the vast number 3 Teen club - 16 year old was very happy with the entourage club. (12 year old wasn't as keen as she wanted to be with older kids rather than being with kids from 6-12) What was a pain (but didn't spoil holiday!) just a few niggles: 1 Elevators are slow . Be prepared to wait or walk ! We generally did the latter -no bad thing to be honest as with all the food and drink we consumed we needed to ! 2. Be patient ! At times service at bar can be little slow.. no big deal but just found that the bar staff weren't always the happiest and found a few of them little unfriendly ..appreciate they were very busy but it did jar me few times .. also if you are on all of inclusive drinks package you have to show each individual card when buying drinks - can't buy against one card (apparently due to fact that many people were taking too much of an advantage and getting free drinks for people who hadn't bought the package .) 3. Be prepared -this is a family orientated ship -some families seem to think it's acceptable to allow their young kids to sit in the middle of restaurants on the floor playing whilst you are trying to eat! Wish the staff were little firmer at times ! 4. It can also get busy especially cruise days so if you don't like the loud party feel then there are plenty of quiet areas - including adults only pool- you just need to be adaptable In summary ship has something for everyone - and our family had a brilliant time - great Value and we are already planning we're next for 2018!

Great family cruise - so much to see and do !

Norwegian Epic Cruise Review by Dandan31

11 people found this helpful
Trip Details
This was our first cruise experience -husband and wife, an active grandma (85) and 2 kids (12/16) . Having reade numerous reviews I was fully aware of the pros and cons & whilst there were a few niggles along the way, I'd still rate cruise excellent .

What we loved

1. The ease of embarking/disembarking - (Barcelona ) well organised , quick and efficient . We arrived at 11.30 and before we knew it we were on the ship -less than 15 minutes with bags arriving at cabin around 3-4pm

2. Food and beverage- excellent array of restaurants - we ate in taste for lunch on embarkation day -that was a good tip I had read as buffet on 15th deck can be chaotic ! It was a great start to the holiday

we chose the unlimited drinks package as part of our offer (Uk offer allowed 2 "free" added values) - great value and worth getting. In hindsight I would have also chosen( as my 2nd option ) the speciality dinner -instead chose wifi. That was a regret . the Buffet is fine and food great - but now looking back asa family we like the idea of table service more for dinner . We ate at manhatten and taste -couple of times each and they were very good indeed as was noodle bar and Chinese which was all included

3 Variety of entertainment- non stop. Great acts - Burn the Floor/Priscilla /Legends Live /howl of the Moon were all thoroughly entertaining . Very easy to book ( you can even pre book couple ) We never had any issue and thee were always spare seats) be aware people often book and don't show so stand by last minute can work)

4. Great port stops - see separate comments - again easy to get on and off- we didn't do any of the ship excursions -arranged own thing at each port . So easy to do so but I do like arranging such activities so that helps

5. Iconcierge app- very useful indeed-shows all the daily activities updates you on any additional spend on your account -which was brilliant ad really useful. ( we paid extra for the basic wifi which allowed us all to keep in touch with one an-it's $9.99 and allows you to message and call each other via ships wifi when on ship. Very useful )

What we liked

1.Cabins- see full review below we had 2 balcony(2 people in each) and one studio

2 Service overall was pretty good - this is where I had few niggles but overall pretty happy considering the size of ship and the vast number

3 Teen club - 16 year old was very happy with the entourage club. (12 year old wasn't as keen as she wanted to be with older kids rather than being with kids from 6-12)

What was a pain (but didn't spoil holiday!) just a few niggles:

1 Elevators are slow . Be prepared to wait or walk ! We generally did the latter -no bad thing to be honest as with all the food and drink we consumed we needed to !

2. Be patient ! At times service at bar can be little slow.. no big deal but just found that the bar staff weren't always the happiest and found a few of them little unfriendly ..appreciate they were very busy but it did jar me few times .. also if you are on all of inclusive drinks package you have to show each individual card when buying drinks - can't buy against one card (apparently due to fact that many people were taking too much of an advantage and getting free drinks for people who hadn't bought the package .)

3. Be prepared -this is a family orientated ship -some families seem to think it's acceptable to allow their young kids to sit in the middle of restaurants on the floor playing whilst you are trying to eat! Wish the staff were little firmer at times !

4. It can also get busy especially cruise days so if you don't like the loud party feel then there are plenty of quiet areas - including adults only pool- you just need to be adaptable

In summary ship has something for everyone - and our family had a brilliant time - great

Value and we are already planning we're next for 2018!
Dandan31’s Full Rating Summary
Enrichment Activities
Value For Money
Embarkation
Dining
Public Rooms
Entertainment
Cabin
Fitness & Recreation
Shore Excursions
Ages 10 to 12
Ages 13 to 15
Service
Onboard Experience
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Cabin Review

Mid-Ship Balcony
Cabin BA 10119
Three cabins - 2 Balcony (10119/10127) which were one away from each other and one studio (11517)
Balcony rooms - we liked the style and size. Bed tad short but was SO comfortable -loads storage and hanging space . Size wise good for two people -I'm not sure our family would have survived the week if we had crammed 4 of us into one room though !! We actually liked the separate shower and toilet design - sorry for being in the minority on this one !Shower powerful and decent size. Having balcony as standard was lovely too. We made full use of it Had very nice steward (Melody) who was always available -arranged iron for us 3/4 times and we found them quick and efficient when we had requests . Studio lounge and room was great too for solo usage .
Deck 12 Inside Cabins, Balcony Cabins, Suite Cabins

Port & Shore Excursion Reviews

  • Cannes
    We just walked off the ship and straight into Cannes.. There is a little novelty "train" €10 pp which takes you on 30-40 minute trip around. Cannes .. ideal if you just want short visit (which we did ) we were back on ship within 2 hours . The train (car trolley) gives you guided tour via ear pieces in 4/5 languages .fun quick way to see Cannes
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  • Florence (Livorno)
    We took shuttle bus which is next to ship €5 pp which takes you within ten minutes into Livorno city centre where we then Picked up Tuscany bus -it's at the same stop as shuttle bus so really easy .( we had pre booked online) -great value -nice air conditioned coach -takes you into Pisa -cost €15pp. Takes approx 35-40 minutes (they also do coaches to Florence or both Florence and Pisa ) .tuscany bus gives you 2.5 hours to spend in Pisa - we had booked online direct to visit The tower - you need to do this in advance to get you your allotted time - and we just had enough time to wander around and take few pictures . Ideal if you want short sharp trip and very cost effective
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  • Private Tour
    We disembark and made our own way to Pompeii -walked across from port to metro (5 minutes) - you buy ticket at shop next to metro - its 2 stops to main station where you buy another ticket to Pompeii Scavi -takes around 35-40 minutes -busy train so you may need to stand ( door to door took us just under hour ) we booked private guide -I found company via trip advisor . We met at train stationCost €140 for 2.5hours for personal tour ( that was for 3 of us-same price if there had been 4) + ticket entrance €13 euro for adult and free for under 16. jade our tour guide was excellent -friendly and personable -we loved not being in large group as had lots of questions which she happily Answered
    When we got back into Naples we just found little side road and had a pizza .. excellent quality €3.5 for huge pizza.. worth doing in the home of the pizza!
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  • Palma de Mallorca (Majorca)
    Very nice easy port to disembark from. This is pretty port You can get shuttle for small cost but we just walked off -took 7-8 minutes and outside of port there was a hop on hop off automated guided tour bus (€18pp) which takes you all around Palma we found. This nice cost effective way of seeing the city -got off Cathedral ( be aware on a Saturday the cathedral closes at 2.15pm) so as we didn't arrive into city until 1pm makes it impossible for anyone to go into on a Saturday .. but still worth w.aking around . Palma is lovely -complet tour takes around 75 minutes if you don't get off at all.
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  • Rome (Civitavecchia)
    We decided to just walk around Civitavecchia . Short free shuttle bus from ship to end of port (its huge port !) and then 10 minute walk into town
    Town itself has lovely large promendade -quite Rocky but some coves where you could have a nice swim. If you just want couple of hours off the ship then it's perfect .
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